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Donghia healthier Materials Library

A resource for students and faculty to find healthier materials and strategies for sustainable and equitable design.


25 E 13th St, E304 (3rd floor)

Hours of Operation


*The Library is open by appointment only until the start of the Fall semester in September 2023.*

For appointments and additional information, please contact


Luam Melake
Senior Researcher, Donghia healthier Materials Library


The Donghia healthier Materials Library at Parsons School of Design is a resource center dedicated to helping designers make responsible materials decisions. With curated product collections and frameworks for evaluating materials, we offer guiding strategies and hands-on examples of products making positive impacts on human health, environmental justice, and social equity.

To learn more about the Library and how we curate our healthier materials collections, please watch this short video.

What makes a ‘healthier’ material?

While there is no universal standard for what makes a ‘healthier’ material, we look to be holistic in considering the impacts materials can have through their extraction, processing, use, and disposal, and all those who may be affected along the way.

In order to make these many considerations more approachable to designers, the Donghia healthier Materials Library worked with BrightWorks Sustainability to develop the evaluation lens seen below, which organizes more than a hundred factors for assessing materials into six primary categories of impacts. This tool gives designers a framework for thinking expansively about the impacts of their choices, empowering us to make better material decisions.



Visit the Donghia Healthier Materials Library!

Our Samples

From materials for architecture to furniture to fashion, the Donghia healthier Materials Library offers a wide variety of innovative material samples for design. Some highlights include:

Denim Insulation
Ecor Board
Deepmello Leather
Milk Paint

Interested in more material collections?

We curate product collections featuring healthier materials both on display at Donghia Materials Library and beyond.
See our material collections

Past Events

How to Access

Open to students, faculty, and staff of The New School, the library is staffed with student researchers and research assistants during all open hours. External visitors must adhere to The New School's current visitor policies and protocols. For additional information, please contact


Create a Materials Kit for your class
Faculty can create materials collections specific to their class interests and check them out for in-class presentations.
Schedule a Library Tour or Class Presentation
Contact us about having your class visit the library or scheduling an in-class presentation introducing students to our work and issues relating to material health.
Assign your students work using the Library
Faculty can tailor class assignments to create possible materials outcomes that could be added to the collection for future students to access. Assignments can center around material research, manufacture outreach, sustainability, communication design and others.


Borrow Samples
Students, faculty and staff can borrow up to 10 samples for a week at a time. This aids in exploring and sharing your project vision in critiques and project boards. Unique and rare samples are non circulating. Come in to see!
Visit During Open Hours
No appointment is necessary for general visits during open hours. Stop in to prepare for an assignment, consult staff about material choices or to simply get inspired.
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